PS2 Ports and aesthetic

With the release of Persona P3P on Steam, it makes me feel moreso than ever that PS2 aesthetic is regaining relevance. It always struck me as having great potential for specific genres where the lack of detail in the textures is part of the charm. I wonder how this art style reads to people younger than 25!

I made lowpoly art for games from 2003-2009 and I’ve dabbled with the aesthetic since, but it’s tricky to go back without slipping into pixeljoint/sketchfab aesthetic.

Is this now relevant again? Does anyone have any experience with the audience of modern releases?

@“docky”#p101272 I think it’s hard to separate the two but wouldn’t you rather say this is a return of the PSP aesthetics (cf. this thread)?

That being said, we have several machines (later generation PS2/PSP/Wii) which sported adjacent aesthetics, also due to how the Japanese market evolved. Early PS2 games (circa 2000-2003), when developers struggled with the hardware and tools were still lacking, looked very different from later PS2 games, methinks.

@“chazumaru”#p101274 I agree that PSP specific stuff had its own aesthetic, but I mostly wanted to talk about the PS2 :slight_smile: I chose a bad example! I do agree that the early PS2 games struggled with artwork and tooling.

I probably mean 2006 era PS2 games, when the PS3 and Wii didn't exist yet! ._.

You should check out this twitter account:

I think kwaidan is the only modern indie title i know that has ps2-like aesthetics (they're also sorta dreamcast-y tho). Wish there were more! Hoping time will fix that.

I mean, if you want to count PS2-Wii-PSP-3DS-maybe-even-Vita as links in the same chain then it really hasn‘t been gone for all that long, if indeed it’s gone at all.

If you want to be really particular, you could just watch a video of your favourite game in 360p and then interlace the everloving shit out it.

One thing I love about the particular PS2 aesthetic is how nice it is to return to in HD. This is true for a lot of older 3D and it's often down to a combo of mood and availability whether I want to play an older 3D game on an older display or via emulation on a modern display. If I think of the Dreamcast, for instance, I want to play that on my VGA monitor, and it still looks as appealing today as it did 24 years ago. Playing PS2 on a CRT is nice, too, but I dunno – something about the “just low-poly enough to be charming and stylized” but “just advanced enough that everything seems fully realized and the textures look nice and crisp upscaled” aesthetic makes the PS2 a real goldilocks experience at 1080p or so. Playing through both Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age and Klonoa 2 re-releases last year was really easy on the eyes, just super pleasant to look at all the way through.